Today's post features guest author Jami Segota, Vice President & Assistant General Counsel, Employment Law from Ricoh USA, Inc. Learn how Ricoh turned their ethics and compliance program into a powerful cross-departmental operation.
The leadership team at Ricoh USA is deeply committed to creating transparency in the workplace. With their support, we’ve created an organizational initiative to encourage employees to share their questions and concerns so we can continue to cultivate a collaborative and supportive workplace environment.
Our simplified HR services model puts our internal customers—our employees—first and provides subject-matter experts in areas for efficient and valuable exchange of information and guidance. The cross-departmental collaboration between legal, HR and other functional teams plays an important role in our success and commitment to ethics and integrity.
Three of the essentials for success in our initiative are steps any organization can replicate. They are:
1) Expanded Reporting Options Through New Customer Reporting Tool
We have always had multiple resources available where employees could raise issues, questions or concerns. Thanks to our “open door” policy, we encourage employees to speak to their managers or their HR partner as a first alternative, where possible, as they are likely most familiar with the individuals and issues involved. We also provide several alternatives including: the Legal department, the Ricoh Ombudsperson, the Business Ethics Committee, the Ricoh intranet or through a “hotline” managed by a third-party vendor to provide employees with an additional assurance that their concerns will be addressed with absolute confidentiality.
The reporting structure through NAVEX Global’s whistleblowing hotline and online reporting portal has been a valuable addition to the available reporting options. It is accessible, easy to use and provides us with the opportunity to react quickly to emerging trends.
2) HR/Legal Teams Collaborating to Analyze Data
Our HR and legal teams have a strong partnership.
Together, we review trends related to the concerns being reported, as well as whether a particular area—be it department, business line or geography—is experiencing an increase or decrease in activity, which, in turn, allows us to engage proactively in addressing any subject rather than only being able to react "after the fact." Analysis of the data also allows us to identify areas to focus on in our policy reviews and management/employee training.
Learn more about how NAVEX Global’s solutions work together to capture, track and analyze ethics and compliance reports.
As an added benefit to our employees and our continued focus on creating a “speak up” culture, our HR department realigned to a simplified service model. The team has more dedicated focus and subject matter expertise and a dedicated Employment Relations team who conducts all internal investigations—regardless of location or initiating function.
With this structure, the HR team is recognized as “specialists” and can quickly provide specific advice and feedback. When you add the whistleblower reporting structure to the mix—it all works together to create a system where employees feel supported by their HR and legal teams and hotline reporting system.
3) Identify Areas for Improvement by Listening to Employees
We truly mean open door.
Because our employees can make the day-to-day observations that management may not see, we encourage them to speak up and escalate concerns. After all, we cannot address an issue or correct a misinterpretation if we are unaware of the question. We are grateful our team is willing to be vocal and recognize that they are a critical component to Ricoh reaching and maintaining its commitment to ethics and integrity.
When working with our internal customers, we echo the same motto they, in turn, express to their external customers: “Let us help understand your business challenges.” With that mindset, our employees embody our core ethics and integrity values so that our internal and external messaging is the same.
The benefits of a well-rounded compliance program are far-reaching. The most notable and lasting include:
- Increased Business Value: We’ve seen improved employee engagement, as shared in our regular employee pulse surveys, which ties directly to creating a strong organizational culture.
- Increased Team Collaboration: Our Business Ethics Committee, comprised of the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of HR, reviews, on a quarterly basis, the data reported through the various mechanisms. The Committee evaluates, on both a macro and micro level, the concerns raised and how they are resolved to ensure consistency and that the Company maintains its vision and commitment.
When you have commitment from the very senior levels, the message is clearly cascaded to every level of the organization and it provides employees with the guidance and confidence they need to address whatever situations that may arise.
To learn more about how to expand your employees' reporting options—helping you capture more reports and get more data to see and avoid more risks—schedule a consultation with one of our ethics and compliance experts today.